Who, when and why built the Great Wall?

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Who, when and why built the Great Wall?

The Great Wall was first built in the 7th century B.C. when China was still divided into many small states. After the unification of China in 221 B.C., the first emperor of Qin Dynasty (you must have heard of his teracotta army) linked the walls of the three states in the north and formed the first "Wan Li Chang Cheng" (ten thousand li Great Wall, li is a Chinese length unit, 2 li = 1 km). Since then, the Great Wall was rebuilt, modified or extended throughout Chinese history for over 2,000 years, mainly to protect the Chinese Empire from the Mongolians and other invaders. Most of the Great Wall we see today was built in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). In some areas, two walls built in two different dynasties can be seen running side by side.
The Great Wall is not just a wall. Other defensive works such as forts, passes and beacon towers were built along the Wall to house auxiliary soldiers, store grain and weapons, and transmit military information. As a product of the clashes between agricultural and nomadic economies, the Great Wall provided protection to the economic development and cultural progress, safeguarded the trading routes such as the Silk Road, and secured transmission of information and transportation. Today the world has completely changed. No wall can withhold the progress that modern science has brought about in our life. The Great Wall has lost its former function. But does this mean that anyone has the right to use the Wall's stones to build their own houses? It happened to Hadrian's Wall, it is still happening to our Great Wall. How to promote the national awareness of the archaeological value of the Great Wall? That is a challenge we are facing. And for that purpose, everyone is welcome to join us to better understand the Great Wall, and to better protect the precious remains for generations to come.